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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Piers Morgan’s Topless U-Turns

Now gracing the set on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on a moderately regular basis, former Mirror editor and CNN host Piers Morgan is back on the UK media scene, chipping in a regular stream of articles for Mail Online and keeping up a Twitter presence to boot. He is also, in the best tabloid tradition, always prepared to say what he thinks.
Early last year, this brought him to the debate over the Sun’s use of topless models on its Page 3. Morgan was unequivocal in his support for the feature, batting away anyone and everyone who raised an objection. Women, he claimed, had no problem with the feature, unless they read the Guardian and were called Harriet Harman.
But then, it seemed, the Sun had abandoned the topless Page 3 models. So he decided it was no big deal: “Of all the things in the world right now to worry about, The Sun's Page 3 girl slot seems the least important”. This disinterest lasted all of 48 hours, before a U-Turn as it was revealed that the feature had returned: “BOOM! > RT @GuidoFawkes: Page 3 is back in The Sun tomorrow”. That means he approves this message.
There then followed a brief period of triumphalism: “Love @TheSunNewspaper hood-winking everyone over Page 3. Poor Guardianistas will be frothing into their lentil soup tonight”. Yes, what would we do without topless pics on Page 3? He had the answer to that, too: “Can you imagine a world where Harriet Harperson dictated how we all live? I'd literally rather immolate myself”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start.
And he was more than willing to stand his ground on the issue, dismissing the objection of my good friend Peter Jukes with “oh pur-lease. Nobody gives a damn other than you and Harriet Harperson”. Still not funny, but hey ho. Jukes suggested women did not like the feature, and this too was waved away: “most women I know find this debate laughable given what can be seen on UK beaches and in mags”.
Besides, there were worse things than Page 3, and in a classic “look over there” ploy, Morgan suggested “The ridiculous pressure put on women by fashion mags to look like skinny rakes is far more damaging than Page3. Protest about that”, with a more recent version musing “I wonder how many feminists currently sending me photos of their cleavage campaigned to get Page 3 girls banned?
But suddenly another of those screeching U-Turns was in order, after Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski posted a topless “selfie”. Wasn’t this something and nothing, not really a problem, only of concern to “Guardianistas”? Well, no it wasn’t. Piers was not happy about this, and scolded Ms K and Ms R “Just a thought @KimKardashian @emrata - but you could always try wearing a little dignity?” Er, what?

He even posted a photo of Ms Kardashian and sister Kourtney, fully clothed, on his CNN show, with the message “Happier, more tasteful days”. Er, up to a point, Mr M. That was the show from the second week of the Morgan tenure at CNN, which included the host enquiring of the Kardashians whether their breasts were genuine.

Consistency, dignity, and journalistic inquiry. Just thought I’d put that out there.


pete c said...

Well he does manage consistency. Once a numpty, always a premier league numpty.

Raises an important point though.

Do these newspaper people understand the connection between the year-in, year-out blatant use of women's bodies, and the still ever-growing everyday sexism and abuse of women out here in society at large.

They'd probably say they see no connection - because the other response would be to see the connection and deliberately ignore it.

So well done Piers. Another step nearer the gutter for our beleaguered society.

Anonymous said...

Morgan is a particularly ugly species of media lowlife. As bad as the Scum he used to work for.

No moral centre whatever, which is what made his "clash" with UnterMensch so funny.

There's any number of his hypocritical, no-talent type "working" in mainstream media.